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### GMC Forum _ THEORY _ What Is The Tritone Scale

#### Posted by: The Professor Jun 20 2013, 05:31 PM

The Tritone Scale

In this lesson, our fourth look at Symmetrical Scales, we will be exploring one of the most commonly used non-modal scales, the Trione Scale.

This scale is named quite literally, as it is built by pairing together two major triads a tritone apart.

If you were to build this scale from the root C, you would get:

C Db E Gb(F#) G Bb (C and Gb Triads)

or

R b2 3 b5 5 b7

I use the note Gb here to make it easier to see the b7 and b9 in this key, but you can also think of it as an F# as technically it is a #4 or #11 and not a b5, as there is already a natural 5, G in this key, in the scale. Small but important point to note.

Here is how that scale looks like on paper in both Tab and Notation from the root-note C.

Tritone Scale Fingerings

To help you get started in your exploration of this scale, here are two common fingerings for a C Tritone Scale, one with a 6th-string root and one with a 5th-string root note.

After you have learned these two shapes, try expanding them to all 12 keys across the fretboard, and begin to apply them to your soloing ideas either over a 7th chord, where you want to bring in a b9 and/or #11 sound, or more specifically when you see a 7b9#11 chord symbol on any tune you are soloing over.

Write out all 12 keys of the Tritone Scale in the comments section below, using the "spoiler" tab on the left side of this screen, and I will be happy to go over your work to see how you are doing with writing out this fun and important scale.

Do you have any questions about the Tritone Scale? Post any questions or comments below and I will be happy to answer them for you.

#### Posted by: klasaine Jun 21 2013, 01:55 PM

Wow! Never heard of this before.
Great tone set. I've used 'part' of it a lot: E F# G Bb G F# E (Db C) as an alt/dom run. Very McLaughlinesque.
*I notated F# because it's easier for me to see it as a scale fragment that way.

#### Posted by: The Professor Jun 21 2013, 03:10 PM

QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 21 2013, 01:55 PM)
Wow! Never heard of this before.
Great tone set. I've used 'part' of it a lot: E F# G Bb G F# E (Db C) as an alt/dom run. Very McLaughlinesque.
*I notated F# because it's easier for me to see it as a scale fragment that way.

Cool. Yeah I use different variations of it as well over different chords, or like you said, to get different sounds out of this type of scale. Very fun scale that's worth exploring!